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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Words of Encouragement May 28, 2017

The week after Easter our Sunday School teacher shared a message titled: RESURRECTION TO RESURRECTION. He noted that he recently realized the importance of the miracle that Jesus performed in raising Lazarus from the grave. The story of Lazarus dying and being raised from the grave is in John 11.

When a messenger came to tell Jesus that his good friend Lazarus was sick, Jesus did not go right away to heal him as they expected he would and knew that he could. Instead Jesus waiting, saying "This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it."

Some may have thought Jesus erred when they learned that in fact Lazarus did die. But Jesus meant it was not a final death. The last portion of the scripture is basically revealing that this miracle would be THE miracle that would glorify God like no other miracle that Jesus had performed before now. And, by it bringing that glory to God, the Father, it would set the stage for "the Son of God to be glorified by it."

One thing that is important to remember here is that this miracle happened in Winter and the Crucifixion happened the next Spring. The miracle happened a few weeks before Jesus ‘set his face towards Jerusalem’. At John 11:14-15 Jesus tells those surrounding him: “…, ‘Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I'm glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe.’"

Reading on to verses 47-52 we see that many believed in Jesus and even the Pharisees were afraid that “everyone will believe in him. Even the high priest prophesied of his death for the entire nation. John 11: 51.

The reason that Jesus had delayed coming to help Lazarus was for the purpose of proving to the Jews who He truly was. He had raised others from the dead but we have no record of Him
raising someone who had been dead for four days and already in a tomb. This single miracle is what set the stage for the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

Many of those who believed followed Jesus and welcomed him with the palm branches and shouts of Hosanna as he came into Jerusalem. It was because of this miracle of Lazarus being raised that caused the people who had heard about to look for Him and to meet Him as He entered the city and to proclaim Him as their King.

Jesus was not the earthly King as they expected… but He knew the sacrifice He was prepared to give was for the Kingdom. The death and resurrection of Jesus was orchestrated by Himself and it began with the resurrection of His good friend Lazarus.

I like this song as it reminds us that Christ is more than we expect... 
More Than You Think I Am

Verses for Today: 
John 11:40-42
40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”

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